How valuable is wisdom?

Pr 3:13-18 Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold. She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called blessed.

There can be little doubt wisdom is highly prized, a thing of great value to God, which is why God gives it freely and generously to those who ask.

Pr 9:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.

If the “fear of the Lord” is the beginning of wisdom, then this “fear” must be even more valuable than wisdom itself. The word translated “fear” has additional meanings which include reverence, respect, and piety. This verse is much better known than understood. It is central to the understanding of salvation and salvation is certainly of greater value than wisdom. Consider Jesus’ encounter with Nicodemus (Jn 3) and also with the woman at the well (Jn 4). In both cases Jesus made the point he was in fact Lord. The woman didn’t fully comprehend it in theological terms, but she quickly grasped the concept that the man she encountered had both power and authority and, as a benevolent power, she was more than happy to submit to Jesus’ authority. With regard to Nicodemus, Jesus’ dialogue with him was according to what he understood. There was no mistake in either Nicodemus’ or the woman’s mind who Jesus claimed to be, nor was there any doubt Jesus required acknowledgment and submission to his authority.

This post is an excerpt (Question 5.2) from my book Ask James one.

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About Lance Ponder

Christian author of "Ask James one"; public speaker; husband and father. Available to speak on Creation and the Gospel.
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